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Top Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri still alive

March 7, 2012 - Islamabad

One of Al Qaeda's main operational commanders and the chief of the Harkatul Jihad al-Islami (HJI), Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri, who was reported to have been killed in a US drone attack in South Waziristan last year, is reportedly still alive.

He was spotted in North Waziristan recently, the Daily Times reports.

Kashmiri reportedly visited North Waziristan this week and held sittings with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

He and his group are linked to the al-Qaeda and are suspected of launching a 2006 suicide attack on the US Consulate in Karachi and carrying out the attack on the PNS Mehran airbase in Karachi in May 2011.

Kashmiri, a former member of the Pakistan Army's Special Services Group, was reported to have been killed in a US drone strike in South Waziristan on June 3 last year. Sources said that during the visit, Kashmiri spent a night with Mehsud, as his guest.

During his visit to the TTP comrade in Waziristan, where a renowned journalist from Islamabad was also reportedly present, Kashmiri allegedly reviewed the future strategy in connection with jihad, his movement and the present situation in Afghanistan.

However, sources said that security officials of the United States and Pakistan failed to confirm the death of the HJI commander and media reports were published in July last year that he was still active in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.


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